London & South East

Transforming Heathrow

Heathrow Airport Review

Heathrow Airport is owned and operated by BAA Limited, who own and operate five airports across the UK.

The airport comprises five terminals and two runways and is used by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways and BMI.

At present the airport is embarking on a five-year programme of works in order to transform Heathrow’s Terminal 2 to update facilities and cater for approximately 20 million passengers a year. The construction of Terminal 2 has been funded entirely by BAA, making it the largest privately funded construction project in the UK.

The original Terminal 2 building officially opened its doors on April 1, 1955. When it opened, the terminal was known as Europa Building, however the facility underwent a name change in 1966 following the opening of Terminal 1.

For more than 50 years Terminal 2 saw an impressive array of celebrities – including Marilyn Monroe and The Beatles – pass through its arrival lounge. However, after 54 years of service Terminal 2 officially closed to passengers in 2009, and in 2010 the building was demolished to make way for the new terminal.

Once work is complete on the new terminal, the building will span five storeys high and measure 200,000 square metres. Approximately 27,000 tonnes of steel work is being used during construction, along with 30,000 square metres of glass.

Several environmentally friendly practices have been implemented throughout the construction of Terminal 2 in order to ensure that the project makes use of as many sustainable materials as possible. Over 95% of the original terminal is being recycled, whilst the extensive glazing in the main terminal building will help to reduce energy usage through the inclusion of solar control glass and angled louvres.

Heathrow Airport Review

As Heathrow is a live airport, the construction of materials off-site has been maximised wherever possible in order to reduce congestion at the airport and speed up the project’s efficiency. All completed materials are transported to the site to be installed where required.

During the peak of construction, approximately 6,000 people will be working on the site. Throughout the life of the project it is estimated that up to 35,000 people will be involved in the Terminal 2 project.

Heathrow Limited’s Terminal 2 Programme Director, Joanne White, said:

“The original Terminal 2 was designed for a capacity of 1.2 million passengers a year, however towards the end of its life it was handling up to 8 million. We decided that this was just not acceptable and a new terminal was required in order to provide a far superior service.

“For us Terminal 2 is a major investment that will improve the passenger experience for the next 30 years through a more efficient service.”

Additional changes are being made to the road systems around the airport. A brand new multi-storey car park – with associated roads and ramps – will also be built to accommodate up to 1,300 vehicles.

The work on Terminal 2 is being completed in phases, with the first phase completed in 2013. HETCo, a joint venture between Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O’Rourke was the main contractor on Phase One, whilst Luis Vidal was the architect, and Foster + Partners was the conceptual architect.

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